With the bold aspiration to leave no child behind, our vision is to establish Canada’s Centre for Dyslexia.

Why it's time
Centre for Dyslexia – Centre for Dyslexia Rendering
Centre for Dyslexia – Teacher and student at desk reading.

1 in 5 children struggle to read

Learning to read is a human right. Yet, most students with dyslexia are unable to access the education they need and deserve. It is a national and global issue. Children are left behind; their potential unrealized.

We are committed to taking action to bridge the gaps, helping Canada lead the way for the 20% of people with dyslexia who need urgent change.*

Did you know?

UP TO 20%

of the Canadian
population is
dyslexic

7.5M

Canadians have
dyslexia, including
1.1M school children

80%

of people with
dyslexia remain
undiagnosed

*Estimates based on research by Yale University and Cambridge University.

Why we need a Centre for Dyslexia

1 in 5 students are falling through the cracks. Teachers are inadequately trained to serve these students in their classrooms.
The risks without appropriate supports are significant:

  • Mental health challenges are 3x more likely for those with dyslexia.

  • The high school dropout rate for dyslexics is more than double the average.

  • 50% of young offenders have dyslexia.

  • 80% of homeless youth have dyslexia.

  • Dyslexics have a higher risk of anxiety, depression, suicide, and substance abuse.

“When left unaddressed, dyslexia is associated with negative social and emotional consequences that can leave individuals struggling, isolated and displaced.”

- Evelyn Stewart, Doctor & Psychiatrist, BC Children’s Hospital & UBC

Our Commitment to Community

To level the playing field for children with dyslexia, all system gaps will be targeted through:

  • Early detection of risk to reading failure and a roadmap for intervention services.

  • Training to elevate the skills of educators.

  • Research-based approaches, quality instruction, and personalized education.

  • Access to programs and resources for the broader community.

  • Awareness and understanding about dyslexia leading to systems change and partnerships.

The Centre for Dyslexia will ground its practice with a research-based, data-driven approach developed over 40 years of experience.

Now is the time to realize a world-class education and training centre, accessible to all.
It will be the 1st purpose-built facility for dyslexic learners in Canada.

Centre for Dyslexia’s 5 Pillars

Centre for Dyslexia – Childcare Facility Rendering

Early Literacy Screening & Intervention

The Centre for Dyslexia will offer a leading model of early literacy screening and intervention, including within the onsite childcare facility. We will train early educators to identify young children at risk to reading failure with the goal to integrate intervention services at childcare centres, preschools, and primary schools.

Centre for Dyslexia – Training Institute Rendering

Training Institute

Currently, educators are inadequately prepared to identify when a child shows signs of dyslexia or to effectively teach a child who learns differently. The new Centre for Dyslexia will be a venue for a suite of leading programs, including group workshops, 1:1 coaching, observations, practicums and custom training for schools, school districts, and post-secondary institutions. Building the capacity of educators and other professionals will have an exponential impact on children and youth in the public system.

Centre for Dyslexia – Day School Facility Rendering

Therapeutic Day School Program

Too many children with dyslexia continue to struggle every day at school. Within the Centre for Dyslexia, our flagship day school program will benefit from the larger facility to offer increased access (ideal target: up to 500 students from 270) to a learner-centric environment with the most effective teaching methods for students with dyslexia.

Centre for Dyslexia – Private Room Rendering

Outreach Programs

Intervention and remediation of specific learning difficulties is an essential service for children to become independent, successful learners. Outreach programs will be available, both in-person and online, to all young people with dyslexia and related learning differences. We will also continue to offer family consulting and learner programs customized upon request for First Nations, non-profits, and other organizations.

Centre for Dyslexia – Knowledge Hub Rendering

Knowledge Hub

There is a scarcity of resources to support individuals with dyslexia and the community-at-large. The Centre for Dyslexia will be dedicated to advancing education while increasing awareness and understanding about dyslexia in society, through thought leadership, best practices, and convening crucial dialogue for system improvement.

“The City’s land partnership with Fraser Academy, and the opportunity to create a Centre of Excellence for Dyslexia right here in Vancouver is a massive game-changer. Working together with FA leadership to actualize this vision has been inspirational, and I couldn’t be more excited to imagine how this will positively change lives for kids and families in Vancouver and across our region.”

- Pete Fry, Vancouver City Councillor

Centre for Dyslexia – Young boy at desk writing and smiling.

Canada’s moment to take action

Children and youth with dyslexia deserve the opportunity to thrive in education and excel in life. As a non-profit organization, the Centre for Dyslexia will serve a vital community need, empowering students and educators across Vancouver, BC, and Canada.

The time is now to realize Canada’s Centre for Dyslexia – ensuring that this resource is available for generations to come.

Building project leadership & partners

Building Committee

David Sacks, Chair

David McFarlane

Gary Pooni

Neil Johnston

Alison Wall

City of Vancouver Logo

We extend our deepest gratitude to the City of Vancouver for their recognition of the dyslexic community. This site has been secured in partnership with the City and represents an in-kind commitment of $31.85M.

Building Partners

We were proud to work alongside renowned architects and consultants on Phase One of realizing Canada’s Centre for Dyslexia.

Acton Ostry Architects Inc Logo

A leading Canadian design practice recognized for the creation of eloquent and innovative community, educational, institutional and mixed-use residential buildings that respond sensitively to social and environmental concerns. (All renderings have been provided by Acton Ostry Architects.)

Westbourne Projects Limited Logo

A Vancouver based firm that specializes in providing development consulting and project management services. Westbourne Projects represents the owner at all stages of a project from initial concept through design, construction, fit out and project turn over.

For more information, contact:

Neil Johnston

Chief Executive Officer
604 736 5575
njohnston@centrefordyslexia.ca

Heather Altas

Chief Advancement Officer
604 736 5575
haltas@centrefordyslexia.ca